Florida Law holds that it is in the best interests of a child to maintain a relationship with both parents. The need to modify any court order after a final child custody or time sharing order is in place or the desire to move away from area where the divorce decree was issued can be expected to have a significant effect on the interest of the noncustodial parent (to maintain a close relationship with his or her child), as well as on the child’s interest in sustained contact with both parents. Furthermore, because a parental relocation will interfere with court approved visitation arrangements, child custody or time sharing, a parental relocation proposal will need to be approved by the court.


If you need to move to a distant city or another state and you want your child to relocate with you, contact Filler Rodriguez, LLP, which has represented numerous clients in dealing with parental relocation issues. Our family lawyers provide you with the support necessary to ensure that the relocating parent or the parent remaining behind are able develop a proper strategy and understanding of the rights and responsibilities inherent in any parental relocation, to help protect your interests and to ensure that the interests of the child(ren) are analyzed.

Parent relocation cases focus on the reason for the need to move

A Florida family court judge is likely to grant a request for parental relocation if it is submitted in good faith and supported by sound reasons. Career moves, job relocation, job transfers, financial needs or educational opportunities are the most frequent reasons for parental relocation. The court must also find that the parental relocation is in the child’s best interests. To ensure that the child is able to maintain a sustained relationship with both parents, the relocating parent should try to work out visitation, time sharing or custody arrangements that meet the needs of both the child and the other parent. Any objections to a proposed move or relocation should be based on the child’s interests, not the opposing parent’s inconvenience of the proposed relocation.

How does relocation work?

Any parental relocation with a child must comply with Florida Statute § 61.13001, titled “Parental Relocation with a Child”. Failure to do so could result in one parent being held in contempt of court and be ordered by the court to return the children.

If the proposed parental relocation is uncontested, Florida statutes require a written agreement including specific factors.


If the proposed parental relocation is contested, the relocating parent must serve a “Petition to Relocate”. The parent who is not relocating must then respond within 20 days, and the court will then schedule a contested hearing. Many factors are considered by the court, and time lines must be followed carefully. If a parent does not follow Florida Statutes he or she could be held in contempt of court.

Parental relocation without court approval might be a crime

Under Florida and potentially federal law, it may be a crime if you move outside the state or country where the court order of visitation, time sharing or custody was filed. Permission of the court is necessary to avoid the risk of criminal liability. It’s against the law to interfere with court-ordered visitation time sharing or custody rights, and parental relocation-moving out of state or to another country without court approval would certainly amount to interference.

To ensure that you protect your rights if you are seeking parental relocation or if you are objecting to parental relocation contact us at 904-903-4522 to schedule a comprehensive consultation.



When a court determines one party’s responsibility to another—whether it be for alimony, child support, or in the context of a parenting plan—that decision is generally binding on that party. However, under certain circumstances, a judge may order a modification of a final judgment. If you believe that there is a need to modify a final judgment in your case, contact Ashley Goggins Law, P.A. for an experienced Jacksonville Family Law Attorney.

Modification of Alimony

Alimony is an allowance for support made under court order from one spouse to the other spouse. One party may be required to make alimony payments to the other during a divorce as well as after the proceedings. In some cases, alimony payments may be received consistently by a former spouse for many years. In other cases, the situation of one spouse drastically changes, and modifications must be made to an alimony order.

When there is a substantial change in circumstances that was not anticipated by the parties and it is “sufficient, material, involuntary, and permanent in nature,” a party may move for a modification of final judgment. An example of this might be if one spouse was enrolled in college during the divorce, but later begins working at a job where he is being paid a substantial salary.

Modification of Child Support

Child support is a court-ordered payment from one former spouse to another for the benefit of the children of the marriage. Like alimony, child support payments are determined during the divorce proceedings. However, Florida courts have found several circumstances where a modification of a child support order is appropriate:

  • When modification is found necessary by the court and is in the best interest of the child; or

  • When the child reaches the age of majority; or

  • When there is a substantial change in the circumstances of the parties.

As with a modification of alimony payments, the party attempting to change the court’s child support order has the burden to prove that the change in circumstances is “sufficient, material, involuntary, and permanent in nature.” The change in circumstances can be a change in either parents’ circumstances or a change in a child’s circumstances. For example, if a child is diagnosed with a serious illness, a court may order an increase in support payment to aid in paying for the appropriate medical care for the newly diagnosed disease.

Modification of a Parenting Plan

Parenting plans are determined during the initial divorce proceedings and dictate child custody arrangements. Under certain circumstances a court may determine that a change in the parenting plan is appropriate. In Florida, a judge is able to alter a parenting order if there is a substantial and material change since the original determination, and that a change in the parenting plan is in the best interests of the child.

An example of this would be if a spouse with custody of a child is deployed overseas with the military. In this case, a court is able to temporarily change a custody order while the spouse is abroad. However, the judge would ensure that there is still some method of contact between the child and the spouse who is deployed, whether that be through phone, video chat, etc. Finally, the parenting plan would likely return to the original plan once the deployed spouse returned.

Are You in Need of a Modification of Final Judgment?

If there has been a substantial change in your circumstances since your initial divorce proceedings, and you believe that there should be a modification in the court’s final judgment, contact Ashley Goggins Law, P.A. Attorney Goggins is an experienced Florida family law attorney who is a experienced in Florida Family Law. To contact the Ashley Goggins Law, P.A. call 904-903-4522, or contact us schedule a consultation online.